Dharmashala – 2/3
We are continuing with the transcription of a nectarean discourse given by H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj in Sharjah on 10-7-1996. In yesterday’s mail we saw Maharaj’s beautiful explanation on how this world is like a dharmashala. Today we will see how much Maharaj’s is insisting on the importance of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.
Apart from anything, apart from our ashram, apart from our family conditions, the temporary things are just hovering around us and they want to catch us anytime. We are like the frog. In Bhagavatam, a very nice example is given. The frog can lick the insects. It has a long tongue. It just extends the tongue and catches the insect from a far distance and lick the insect. And the snakes can eat the frog. So one frog was already in the jaw of the snake. Just it was a matter of seconds that it will be swallowed by the snake. But even then that frog who was in the jaw of the snake, saw the insect and immediately it took out (Maharaj and all the devotees laugh heartily at the example). That is our position. We are already caught in the jaw of the death. But I see dirhams and ‘boom, I snatch it’ (laughter). I don’t worry about whom does it belong. In order to stop this lunacy we have to come to somewhere and this is the right place. Prabhupada is very kind and merciful. He says, “Please don’t run after these temporary things. You are already caught up in the jaws of the snake of death.”
Then the questions comes that, many times people feel in our condition also that they have to find out a way for these things. But they don’t know what it is to be done. In this also there are so many pitfalls. One may come up to this point that he has to do something to solve the problems of life. And he will say, “Maharaj, now I understand everything you said. What you are telling is very correct.” Till I am talking he is very serious. Then he says, “Maharaj, I have now decided that I have to make spiritual progress and I promise you. You are very good. I have understood everything and now I am very serious.” And then next day he goes to Sai baba’s meeting! He knows that something has to be done. But there are so many groups, we are not the only one in this bazaar. In spiritual bazaar there are so many groups. Now again it is the test of our sanity to decide which place we have to go. This is where the instructions of the scripture come in. Without the scriptures we are lost. This is our eternal position. That we have to come to this, and this knowledge is only imparted by Srila Prabhupada. We are not fanatics, but unless you come to Prabhupada you cannot get the real knowledge. We are not Prabhupada fanatics. Prabhupada said, “We are not claiming that we are No.1 in the spiritual field.” So we were very happy that Prabhupada is very generous to other groups also. He says that we are not the only one in the spiritual field. And then he said,”But I must tell you that we are second to none.” (laughter). I told Prabhupada,”Prabhupada you are joking”. Prabhupada said,” No I am serious. We are second to none.” It is the case. There are so many in the spiritual bazaar. But they fall short of the goal. There is a nice verse (SB 3.23.56)
neha yat karma dharmaaya / na viraagaaya kalpate
na tirtha-pada-sevaayai / jivan api mrto ‘pi sah
“Anyone whose work is not meant to elevate him to religious life, anyone whose religious ritualistic performances do not raise him to renunciation, and anyone situated in renunciation that does not lead him to devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, must be considered dead, although he is breathing.”
It is very easy to understand. na iha means in this planet. We are all in this planet. na iha karma. Those karmas are useless which will not take you to dharma. na iha karma dharmaaya. Those activities which will not direct you to the religiousity, they are useless. Then that dharma which doesn’t develop viraaga detachment, then that dharma is useless. And that viraaga which doesn’t take you to tirtha pada seva, to catch the lotus feet of Krishna, jivan api mrtho hi sah, we are breathing dead. We have to come to tirtha pada sevaayai. We have to catch the lotus feet of Krishna. Otherwise everything is useless. and that’s why we have to be resolved, we have to be determined to do these things. We are very determined to come to Dubai, Muscat, Abu dhabi or Bahrain. It is a very worshipable place in India. They say (if someone coming from Bahrain) “Jai Bahrain” (devotees break into thunderous laughter on Maharaj’s joke). I told, “hey, you are so ecstatic, what is the matter?” He says, “Bahrain, is a heavenly place”. I didn’t have any idea, but now I see, it is really heavenly planet (laughter). Much more enjoyable than heavenly planet (laughter). (Maharaj immediately changes into a serious tone) This ‘jai’ of anything we should stop. It is only ‘Jai’ Prabhupada and ‘Jai’ Krishna. Otherwise we are just misdirected and then it is a big doubt in our mind also, that why we should worship Krishna. We are coming from so much background, so many deities, so many demigods etc. We question why Prabhupada is insisting on Krishna? In a way, the western population was a clean slate. They did not know anything about these things. Prabhupada was giving them Krishna and they just took it. So it was very easy for Prabhupada to impress on their minds about Krishna. We are all Prabhupada’s but we undermine Prabhupada also many times thinking he is not correct. We don’t have any idea. (Maharaj speaks with a heavy emphasis) The man (Srila Prabhupada) who has written so much in 10 years that we will not be able to read it in life time, forget about understanding it! If you take just the translation and purport of one verse from Srimad Bhagavatam, you will require 1 month to understand each shloka and to read ‘in between’ particularly. And 18000 verses are there. So 18000 months you require. 18000 divided by 12, you have calculators and computers, find out how many years you require. It is nearly 1500 years. Where is the time?
We are very proud that we are working in Dubai, Sharjah, this and that. The work consumes so much of our time. Hardly we have may be 1 hr that too we have to steal from our life. During the day we don’t have much time. Please I would request you, think that you are spending 1 or 2 hours more to earn your dirhams and come to these literatures. These literatures will give you the whole idea.
Krishna willing, we will look at Maharaj’s explanation in the next mail on why should we worship Krishna.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Kalacakra Krsna das
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Hare Rama Hare Rama
and be happy.